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Palestinian hospitals stretched with influx of wounded

Israeli forces have injured more than 900 Palestinians since clashes over al-Aqsa Mosque compound erupted on July 14.

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More than 900 Palestinians have been injured in confrontations with Israeli forces in the last 10 days over the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.

Palestinian hospitals, already overstretched, fear a large influx of injured if tensions, which erupted on July 14 after Israel closed the sensitive site in occupied East Jerusalem, continue.

They also highlighted that most of the injuries inflicted by the Israeli forces were from rubber-coated steel bullets.

International human rights groups have long condemned Israel’s use of such bullets.

READ MORE: Mahmoud Abbas freezes contact with Israel over al-Aqsa

The 39-year-old Mohammed Ismeal, currently being treated at Al Maqassid hospital in East Jerusalem, was apparently shot with a stun grenade in the head, which left him drifting in and out of consciousness.

“He wasn’t disabled. But now look at him. He can’t recognise anyone. It’s like he’s lost his memory,” Muataz Ismeal, the patient’s brother, told Al Jazeera.

Suleiman Turukman, the doctor in charge of Mohammed’s case, said he feared for his patient’s life.

“His condition was serious. He was about to die. He is now improving slowly. But is disoriented and cannot recognise his family due to the trauma.”

The clashes with the Israeli forces that started with the closure of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound have continued since its reopening as Israel introduced metal detectors as a security measure at the entrances of the site.

The Palestinians see the move an attempt by Israel to expand its control at the Muslim-administered compound.

On Sunday, Israel installed new security cameras at the site which also angered the protesters.

READ MORE – Israel installs security cameras at al-Aqsa compound

Hussein Da’na, a 76-year-old Palestinian, told Al Jazeera that he “rejects” the cameras because they disadvantage Palestinians further.

“These cameras are made to identify the faces of people who are barred from entering al-Aqsa Mosque,” Da’na said.

“We pray each morning here and the police assaults us. I intend to keep praying here until Israel removes all what is new,” he added, referring to the security measures.

Major General Yoav Mordechai, who heads the Israeli defence body for Palestinian civilian affairs, said Israel was open to alternatives to lower the tensions.

“The only thing we want is to ensure no one can enter with weapons again and carry out another attack,” he said. “We’re willing to examine alternatives to the metal detectors as long as the solution of alternative ensures the prevention of the next attack.”

However, the Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, told the Voice of Palestine he demands a complete return to procedures that were in place before the initial attack at the shrine.

In a statement on Sunday, the Islamic institutions in Jerusalem, of which he is a part, said they “affirm the categorical rejection of the electronic gates and all the measures of occupation”.

A top adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said a series of consultations are under way with various countries to try and lower tensions in Jerusalem.

Abbas’s diplomatic adviser, Majdi Khaldi, said the Palestinians are coordinating with Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco and others.

 

Middle East

Abbas says to address UN assembly on issues causing suffering to Palestinians

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Mahmoud Abbas

Ramallah, Sep 16 : Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Saturday that he will address the upcoming UN General Assembly on issues causing suffering to Palestinians.

Abbas made the remarks during a meeting he chaired for Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee at his office in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Xinhua reported.

“We will go to the United Nations to confront the world with the issues that our people are suffering,” said Abbas, who is scheduled to deliver a speech at the UN headquarters in New York on September 27.

The addressed issues include the Israeli decision to demolish Al-Khan Al-Ahmar Bedouin village east of Jerusalem, and the status of Al-Aqsa Mosque in the holy city, he added.

“We are consulting with our brothers in Jordan to form a unified position to go to the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice on what is going on at the Al-Aqsa Mosque,” Abbas noted.

The Palestinian President said the final decision will be made by the PLO central council after he returned from the UN assembly.

The United States and the Palestinians have almost severed ties since US President Donald Trump declared Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on December 6, 2017.

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Middle East

Iran to increase uranium enrichment if EU fails

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Iran President

Tehran, Sep 16 (IANS) Iran would increase uranium enrichment if the European Union (EU) fails to implement its obligations following the US withdrawal from the Iranian landmark nuclear deal, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Saturday.

“The Europeans and the other signatories must act in order to compensate for the effects of the US sanctions,” Zarif was quoted as saying by Press TV.

He downplayed the possibility of Iran’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal, but cautioned the EU partners that Iran might act if they fail to secure Iran’s interests in the deal.

“Oil and banks” are the “litmus test,” he said, alluding to the EU pledges to help Tehran in the face of US re-imposition of sanctions on Iran’s oil exports and banking transactions.

European parties need to decide whether being ready to follow their words, Zarif said, adding that “they should also decide if they want to submit to US pressure.”

Iran and six world powers, namely Russia, Britain, China, France, the United States and Germany, struck a landmark agreement over Iran’s nuclear programme in 2015, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

However, US President Donald Trump decided to withdraw Washington from the deal on May 8 and re-impose sanctions, including oil embargo, on Iran.

Iran has held several rounds of talks with France, Britain and Germany to revive the blocking statute, a 1996 regulation that prohibits EU companies and courts from complying with foreign sanctions laws.

Iran has incessantly urged Europe to take “practical and tangible measures” to protect Iranian interests since the US pullout.

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Middle East

Palestinians still committed to making just peace with Israel: Abbas

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Mahmoud Abbas

Jerusalem, Sep 14 (IANS) Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Thursday that the Palestinian people are still committed to making just peace with Israel.

Abbas made the remarks during a meeting at his headquarters in Ramallah with the leaders of three main religions, Islam, Christianity and Judaism, in the Palestinian territories.

He stressed on the necessity of making peace with Israel based on international resolutions related to the establishment of a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, Xinhua reported.

Abbas was quoted by the official Palestinian news agency WAFA as saying that the Palestinian people deserve an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital, “which will be open for the three main religions”.

“Palestine is a model to be followed and a good example in coexistence and social peace,” the Palestinian leader said.

The religious leaders affirmed to Abbas their support to his policies that aim at achieving the hope and aspiration of the Palestinian people, namely freedom and independence.

Abbas is scheduled to address the General Assembly of the United Nations on September 27.

Ahmad Majdalani, a senior official in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), said that Abbas’ speech “will be like the worksheet for the coming stage”.

He told the official Voice of Palestine Radio that the Palestinians will carry on with their steps that will be escalated within the coming period, in response to the American and Israeli policies and measures that were taken to terminate the Palestinian cause.

The Palestinian Authority has been boycotting the US administration led by President Donald Trump as a peace broker, after Trump announced last December to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and relocated the US ambassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to the disputed holy city in May.

The Israeli-Palestinian peace talks have been stalled since 2014 after nine months of US-sponsored talks failed to make progress to resolve the decades-long conflict.

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